Love as Always, Kurt by Loree Rackstraw
Vonnegut as I Knew Him

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Synopsis

A loving, intimate memoir from a lifelong friend of Kurt Vonnegut, including photos and never-before-published correspondence

When Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ducked into his classroom at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in September of 1965, his jokes drew only weak laughter and a few rolled eyes. But workshop student Loree Rackstraw was quietly impressed by this “great bear of a man” and his down-to-earth sensibilities about writing.

That fall, an impossible romance began between the then-unknown author and his student—a brief affair that matured into a joyful, lifelong friendship. Rackstraw distills four decades of memories and Vonnegut’s letters to her into an affectionate memoir that crackles with the creative energy of one of America’s most beloved writers.

Rackstraw’s unique perspective on Vonnegut’s life and how it shaped his famous works portrays a deeply humane man who looked for the humor and absurdity in life in order to survive. And then there are Vonnegut’s own letters: Whether energetic about new projects or frustrated with the “game” of writing and selling “a gazoolian copies,” Vonnegut writes with the playful imagination and generous, accessible brilliance that have always been his trademarks.
 

 

About Loree Rackstraw

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Loree Rackstraw is Professor Emeritus at the University of Northern Iowa. A former fiction editor of The North American Review, Rackstraw holds degrees from Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. She lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
 
Published March 10, 2009 by Da Capo Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Love as Always, Kurt

Kirkus Reviews

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Rackstraw follows Vonnegut’s career chronologically, reporting what he published, where he spoke (how the crowds loved him!) and what he wrote and said to her—all in terms most flattering to both parties.

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AV Club

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Kurt Vonnegut’s well-worn image seems impossible to deflate, and thankfully, longtime friend and professor emeritus Loree Rackstraw doesn’t do anything to tarnish the man’s reputation with her new memoir, Love As Always, Kurt: Vonnegut As I Knew Him.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegu...

Entertainment Weekly

During Kurt Vonnegut's lifetime, some critics thought he was a lightweight because his novels looked suspiciously like fun.

Mar 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegu...

Bookmarks Magazine

Rackstraw distills four decades of memories and Vonnegut’s letters to her into an affectionate memoir that crackles with the creative energy of one of America’s most beloved writers.Rackstraw’s unique perspective on Vonnegut’s life and how it shaped his famous works portrays a deeply human...

Mar 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegu...

ForeWord Reviews

Although she occasionally gets bogged down in the minutiae of Vonneguts numerous public appearances, Rackstraw compensates by applying a scholarly critical analysis to Vonneguts work.

Mar 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegu...

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